By this time of year a lot of us are hitting a fitness slump. Changes in the weather, end of year lethargy and work pressure and the ongoing impact of Covid-19 is stopping us from daily movement. Yet keeping fit is so important. We know from the research out there, that exercise is medicine. It offers such a range of benefits – both physical and mental that we cannot afford to skip out. Here’s some ideas to get a fitness reboot!
Reminder – this is how much exercise you need!
The World Health Organization recommends that adults between the ages of 18 and 64 engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week.
This means you need to exercise 30 minutes, five days a week or perform at least 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week.
They may also do an equivalent combination of moderate and vigorous-intensity activity.
However, we’ve all been guilty of lagging on our annual fitness goals. Varying your fitness routine will improve your odds of sticking to it.
For instance, you may at times find it difficult to follow a rigorous exercise routine, but that shouldn’t deter you from engaging in a lighter form of exercise that can still be beneficial to your body. Including different workouts and exercise routines to serve as fitness building blocks may help you to keep your fitness resolutions in the coming year.
Building your fitness routine
Cardio exercises are important for keeping your heart, lungs and circulatory system healthy, which reduces the risk of chronic diseases, all while improving your overall fitness.
If you find cardio intimidating, however, try a group class. This will add some fun to your fitness routine, provide the opportunity to meet new people, offer a motivational boost, and help to keep you more accountable with your fitness routine.
Try something novel
There are some fun ways to get your body into cardio mode. Try new novel classes or join a local workout club, like cycling, rowing or running. It always helps to work out with others, especially when it involves cadio.
For something light, yet effective, try pilates, yoga, a low-impact form of exercise. Benefits include improving flexibility and mobility, increasing feelings of wellbeing and promoting strength. Essentially, it’s great for those long days when you just don’t seem up to an intense cardio workout.
An intimate yoga studio will allow for a more personal connection between you and the instructor, who will be able to give you more of his or her attention. You’ll also have a better view of the instructor, which will help you to land the poses better. Also, a smaller class means a more relaxed environment, where you’ll feel comfortable asking questions, especially if you’re just beginning your journey with yoga.
Then there’ll be moments when, while still invested in attending a fitness class, you may be itching for a change of scenery.
Why not try an outdoor sport?
Depending on where you are, outdoor gyms usually offer fun, outdoor, boot-camp-style classes, with a range of benefits. Aside from helping you to get your cardio workout in, exercising outdoors or in nature provides a mental-health boost, cleaner air for you to breathe, as well as a healthy dose of vitamin D.
Depending on where you live, you may want to take advantage of some winter sports available to you. For example, skiiing is an excellent cardio and group exercise.
Fast Fact: Did you know that skiing is actually known to reduce anxiety.
Strength training is particularly important if you’re looking to burn fat, build muscle and help your body to develop improved functional strength, which reduces your risk of injury when performing everyday activities.
Lifting weights is a great form of strength training, but you can also opt to join a boxing club, such as Fight Club, which offers a combination of strength training, cardio, and balance-enhancing activities. Boxing will also help to alleviate any frustrations you may begin to feel throughout the year and improve your self-confidence.
Strength training is so important as you age. It helps tone your muscles and build vitality.
The bottom line
Your fitness routine must be enjoyable especially as we head into the colder months. By choosing a novel sport or shaking up your existing routine you’ll be motivated to do it more often. Exercise is meant to reward the body, not punish it. Have fun, and keep moving.